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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 2 E 12 The Killer Robot Instability

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The guys build a killer competition robot, but are intimidated when Kripke challenges them. However, their chances of beating Kripke become low when Howard refuses to participate after his self-esteem was killed by Penny, who is sick of his sexual harassment having endured it for at least a year by now.


  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Penny for not thinking before she talks (again) as she insults Sheldon.
    • Howard for inappropriately advancing upon Penny (yet again).
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  • Analogy Backfire: When Penny finally has enough of Howard, she begins her "The Reason You Suck" Speech by saying that normally she would just ignore him because he is a little peculiar, like Sheldon. Sheldon interrupts her and says that in that room, she was the peculiar one. Penny thinks for a moment and admits he is probably right.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Kripke destroys MONTE, and Howard dismisses any future of him being able to repair it.
  • Blatant Lies: When Penny comes to Howard's house to apologize to him, he tries to dismiss her by saying he was not traumatized by what she said to him. This is despite him holding himself up in his room for days after what she told him, wallowing in his own misery, and crying as soon as she leaves his room.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Penny punches Howard in the face for trying to kiss her. Leads to Aesop Amnesia when he says he's "halfway to pity sex," presumably to save face.
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  • Everyone Has Standards: Sheldon insults Kripke's mother for being fat, but states that he's insincere about it if it's for glandular problems.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The guys' robot, the Mobile Omnidirectional Neuralization and Termination Erradicator.
  • Here We Go Again!: Penny once again doesn't think before she talks when she insults Sheldon's deep affinity for MONTE and he goes off crying into his room.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Leonard agrees that maybe the guys should enter Penny in the Killer Robot competition.
  • Hypocrite: A pre-emptive example. While Penny’s scathing speech to Howard was true, later episodes show her behaving no better.
    • Though, Penny actually shows signs of being creepy and pathetic during this season and last, gawking at handsome boys, which is creepy, and showing dependence on others for financial gain, which is pathetic.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Arguably, Penny's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Howard has been a long time coming.
    • Also, when Kripke finds out about what happened to Howard, he gives a rather cold remark saying that everyone present is “creepy, pathetic, and cannot get girls,” which does debatably hold some merit.
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  • Killer Robot: MONT-E, which pales in comparison to Kripke's robot.
  • Ordered Apology: After Howard refuses to leave his room for two days, Leonard reminds Penny that he stood up to her ex-boyfriend and she said she owed him one for it.
  • P.O.V. Shot: Two in a row; first from Penny's point of view as Howard tries to kiss her, then from Howard's as she decks him and the screen goes black.
  • Reality Ensues: As true as Penny’s "Reason You Suck" Speech is, it ends up causing Howard to wallow in self-loathing. This goes to show that while people like Howard can be rather unsettling to others, they have feelings as well. That and since his friends needed him for their robot fight, Penny is forced to swallow her pride and apologize.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Penny gives a lengthy one to Howard, which causes him to have a Heroic BSoD.
    Howard: Wait a minute. This isn’t flirting, you’re serious.
    Penny: Flirting? You think I’m flirting with you? I am not flirting with you, no woman is ever gonna flirt with you! You’re just gonna grow old and die alone.
  • Your Mom: Sheldon's attempt at trash talk (emphasis on attempt) includes this.
    Sheldon: Your robot is inferior, and it will be defeated by ours, because ours exceeds yours in both design and execution. Also, I am given to understand that your mother is overweight.
    Raj: Oh, snap!
    Sheldon: Now of course, if that is the result of a glandular condition and not sloth and gluttony, I withdraw that comment.

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